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Vermouth: The Revival of the Spirit that Created America's Cocktail Culture Hardcover – June 1, 2015
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About the Author
Adam Ford is widely recognized as America's leading expert in vermouth production and history. A lawyer by training, since founding Atsby New York Vermouth in September 2012, he has established himself as a leading voice in the education and promotion of the vermouth category and in New York spirits. Atsby Vermouth has enjoyed a meteoric rise and is now frequently found in cocktail menus in America's top cocktail bars. He has been quoted in leading publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Edible Manhattan.
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Vermouth is perfectly timed to the modern resurgence of vermouth in cocktails around the country and deserves a spot on the bookshelf of any cocktail enthusiast, cultural historian, American history buff, or simply anyone who enjoys a good read over a stiff drink.
That being said, I am fairly disappointed with the blatant branding and focus on NY regional products that runs throughout the second half of the book. I get it, the author invested his time and energy into the Atsby vermouth line and loves the NY area, but this reads more like a list of sponsored recipes for his company/colleagues that you would find in promotional PR material or a paid ad than an honest look at the broad spectrum of vermouth cocktails. That's not to say that they have no place in a cocktail book, especially since the Atsby products are not necessarily interchangeable with other styles, but the sheer amount of times they are called for is overwhelming.
Overall, I'd rate this purchase as 2.5 stars. It is a mixed bag that has some great highlights, but I feel is ultimately a missed opportunity when it comes to providing an impartial take on vermouth, and I probably would not purchase it again.
He likes it well enough to offer recipes for a 2:1 vermouth-to-gin martini, a 2:1 vermouth-to-rye Manhattan, and a Negroni that's a glass of vermouth with a half-shot of gin and some orange liqueur in it. As I said, the man really likes his vermouth. While I don't share his enthusiasm for the subject, he's written a perversely fascinating book: a definitive history of vermouth's rise from ancient tipple and healing elixir to the king of mixers, with cocktail recipes (including an extensive selection of 19th century vermouth cocktails) that would drive many of us away from drinking. Well worth reading, though.